Good morning! A mixed bag today. Gray skies. I will have to make my own sunshine! Wrap up some domestic things, and I will be good on that score for a while. Had a cup of cocoa today.
I have picked a book to read later on. Salt Water Farm by Robert Peter Twistram Coffin. Mr. Coffin is a relative of mine. Robert Peter Tristram Coffin (March 18, 1892 – January 20, 1955) was an American poet, educator, writer, editor, and literary critic. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1936, he was the Poetry editor for Yankee (magazine). He died the month before I was born. He was a professor at Wells College (1921–1934) and Bowdoin College (1934–1955). He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1936, the poem Strange Holiness.
A Maine native, from Brunswick, Maine, andfrom one of New England’s oldest families. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1915, then earned graduate degrees from Princeton University 1916 and Oxford University 1920. He was a Rhodes Scholar. He is best known as the author of more than three dozen works of literature, poetry and history, including the book Strange Holiness, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1936.
“His early poetry was derivative of classical forms (e.g., sonnets) and in verbiage and subject archaic. His mature poetry is marked by clarity of subject and symbolism, scanning and usually rhyming lines, and New England locales, persons (particularly farmers, fishermen, young boys, and old ladies), themes, and sometimes vocabulary and accent-based rhymes. He also wrote romantic prose.
There is a public school in Coffin’s hometown of Brunswick, Maine, named after him. Coffin Elementary School opened in 1955, in his honor. He dedicated his book “Captain Abby and Captain John” to fellow Bowdoin College alumnus L. Brooks Leavitt, “a fellow son of Maine.” Coffin subsequently wrote his poem “Brooks Leavitt” as a eulogy to his old friend, which was read at Leavitt’s funeral in Wilton, Maine. “Captain Abby and Captain John” is one of his most well-known works, and centers around the characters Abby and John Pennell, two 19th-century ship captains. A shipbuilding district in Brunswick, Maine, known as Pennellville, provided the inspiration for the book, as well as Coffin’s shared lineage with the Pennell family.
Robert P.T Coffin was also a lifelong visual artist who illustrated many of his books in black and white drawings of great detail. The multifarious works describe the natural world of his beloved Maine, its flora and fauna set amidst whimsical architecture and personalized by stylized inhabitants involved in various activities apropos of the essays the art accompanies.
Coffin died of a heart attack in Brunswick, Maine, on January 20, 1955. He was 62 years old.”
There is great humor in a couple of his books. I met a woman Rita who knew him at Bowden. She said he was not supposed to smoke his pipe, but did anyway. He apparently was quite the character as well.